Reds

Blues out of playoff race

The fitting farewell for loose forward Scott Higginbotham and captain Samu Kerevi looked unlikely with the Reds trailing 21-5 after 23 minutes following a sluggish start.

But the hosts clawed back the deficit and secured just their sixth win of the season.

Higginbotham's first-half try, following good work by Kerevi and winger Jock Campbell, made him the first forward to notch 40 Super Rugby tries.

His effort came either side of tries to Blues' pair Tanielu Tele'a and Augustine Pulu after captain Blake Gibson opened the scoring after just three minutes.

Chiefs hold off the Reds

Pita Sowakula, Atu Moli and Etene Nanai-Seturo scored first half tries for the Chiefs, who spent virtually all of the second spell defending as the Reds controlled the ball but were unable to breach the home side's impressive defensive line.

Taniela Tupou scored the only points of the second half with a try from a sustained buildup as the visitors hammered at the Chiefs' line.

The visitors forced the Chiefs to make 240 tackles in the game.

The Reds made less than 90.

Kerevi keeps lid on future, says Reds can win title

Kerevi has long been earmarked as a future captain of the club and while he may only be contracted until the end of 2019, Queensland fans will be hoping he is their leader for many years to come.

The star centre will replace Scott Higginbotham as skipper.

It’s understood the veteran back rower will still form part of an extended leadership group.

The captaincy armband is not completely foreign to Kerevi, who has already led the team on seven separate occasions while one of James Slipper or Higginbotham have been absent.

Hunt recommits to Wallabies, Reds

The code-hopper has played five Tests for the Wallabies since making his debut against Fiji in June.

Hunt, 31, represented Australia and Queensland in rugby league and played Australian rules football before settling into union with the Reds in 2015, having also featured in the 15-man code six years earlier.

"It's been a big year for me personally, obviously making my Wallabies debut was a huge honour but I really enjoyed getting some really solid minutes up in Queensland with Reds," he said.

Highlanders dispatch Reds

All they can do now is sit back and wait to see if they have to travel to Johannesburg to play the Lions or to Christchurch to play the Crusaders in the quarterfinals, something they might not know until about 5am on Sunday morning. 

Highlanders coach Tony Brown has maintained all week he'd rather play the unbeaten Crusaders, meaning he will be keeping a close eye on Saturday night's match between the Hurricanes and Crusaders in Wellington.

Smiths rested for Highlanders

However, eight-Test flanker Liam Squire returns from injury to boost the Highlanders, who are fourth in the New Zealand conference and set to meet either South Africa's high-flying Lions or competition-leading countrymen the Crusaders in the quarter-finals.

Halfback Aaron Smith is rested after playing every match in the All Blacks' drawn Test series with the British and Irish Lions, while influential fullback Smith has been given another week off after vertigo kept him out of the final two tests.

Samoa Super Rugby clash a chance to give back

The Blues region is home to about 150,000 Samoans while the team itself has a number of players with Samoan heritage, as well as head coach Tana Umaga.

"We've seen the amount of Samoan players that are playing overseas and it's good to take something back to the islands," he said.

"We saw it with obviously other teams going to Fiji and now it's Samoa's time. It will showcase what they can do and how they can cater for these big games, which is a positive," said Tana Umaga.

The family of Blues and All Black lock Patrick Tuipolotu emigrated to New Zealand from Samoa.

Blues stun Maroons in record Origin rout

They scored five tries to one in a 28-4 romp in front of 50,390 fans on Wednesday night.

Not since Game Three of the 2005 series, the nadir of Queensland's Origin history, has a Maroons team been so humiliated on home soil, NSW scoring inside the final minute of the first half to lead 12-4 at the break and then posting three further tries in the second term to take a 1-0 series lead to Sydney for Game Two on June 21.

Moore rested for Samoa trip

Moore is being rested by Queensland after a heavy load this season, coach Nick Stiles said, as the side prepares for the first Super Rugby clash to be played in Samoa.

It's not the first time the captain has been rested this season, left out of the side to face the Kings at Suncorp Stadium in round eight.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika confirmed Moore would be his Wallabies captain in June, meaning the 33-year-old's workload is far from easing off as the year goes on.

Stiles said Moore's absence was a planned one, a stance he has maintained this season.

Hurricanes beat the Reds

The loose forward was helped from the field late in the team's 34-15 win over the Reds in Brisbane, having taken the ball into contact and not got up.

Savea had produced a typically robust and explosive performance, from No.8, in what was a rather atypical match.

Referee Angus Gardner awarded three tries to the Hurricanes - Beauden Barrett in the 24th minute, then Mark Abbott (53rd) and finally TJ Perenara (56th) - only to think better of it after the host broadcaster went through its repertoire of replays.